Name: _________________
All writers pay particular attention to the sound, effect, and meaning of their words, Edgar Allan Poe
is no exception. Look at the definition and example from other poetry, then seek out an E.A.P.
example in your text of “The Raven.”
Alliteration is the repetition of a
consonant sound at the beginning
of words
(Donald Duck; sweet smell of success)
I saw lingering late and lightless
A single swan, swinging, sleek
as a sequin.
- W.R. Rodgers, “The Swan”
Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound
within words.
(free and easy; make the grade
And so, all the night-tide,
I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling,
my life and my bride.
- Edgar Allan Poe, “Annabel Lee”
Consonance is the repetition of consonant
sounds within words (differing from alliteration,
which takes place just at the beginning of words)
Onomatopoeia is the use of words that
sound like what they mean. Poets use
this to add a sensory experience (of sound)
to their meaning: tick-tock; crash; tweet)
We rush into a rain
That rattles double glass
-Theodore Roethke, “Night Journey”
Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the
end of words. Rhyme may involve one
or more syllables.
(rest-best; remember-September)
Miniver Cheevy, child of Ucorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
- E.A. Robinson, “Miniver Cheevy”
Rhythm is the pattern of stressed and
unstressed syllables in a sentence or line
of poetry. Poets use rhythm to help
create a mood, momentum, or to
emphasize meaning. (Note how the
example’s strong, pounding rhythm
echoes the sound of troops marching.)
O what is that sound that so thrills the ear
Down in the vally drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers dear,
The soldiers coming.
- W.H. Auden, “O What . . . “
Whenever Richard Corey went
downtown,/We people on the
pavement looked at him. . .
“The Raven” depends for its effect on Poe’s skillful use of the “sound” techniques on the other side, but how a poem sounds is
only one piece of its overall impression. Notice how Poe uses the following “meaning” techniques to create an effect in the
reader and to set the mood. Fill in your own examples of the techniques in action in the space to the right.
An allusion is a reference, without explanation, . . So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack
to previous,well-known literature, to history, to
be quick
a famous character, or to other common
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
knowledge, assuming the reader is familiar
'Cause fire is the Devil's only friend
with the reference and its implications.
- Don McLean, “American Pie”
(widely read as referring to Mick
Jagger of the Rolling Stones)
Imagery is the use of vivid detail, often
visual but also having to do with the
other senses, to form pictures or images
in the reader’s mind. Good authors remember
that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” as
they write, striving to say a great deal in
a small space.
In the Park
With long spear lights
Ride at each other
Like armored knights
- Mildred Weston, “Central Park Tourney”
Personification is a special form of
comparison that gives human characteristics
to an object, place, idea, or animal.
(The motor coughed; The moon gazed down.)
Inside the pencil
crouch words that have never been written
- W.S. Merwin, “The Unwritten”
A symbol is something physical, like an
object or color, that is used to stand for
an idea. If a writer repeatedly refers to one
object, you might suspect it is being used to
symbolize more than just itself.
(A dove, for example, often symbolizes peace.)
One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions
One is not amazed,
At a first glance,
By a poem
- Naoshi Koriyama, “Unfolding Bud”
Choose one of the following options to complete as homework in the space left below.
1. Write a poem, or a piece of a poem, that imitates Poe’s rhyme scheme (and line length/rhythm if you can) and that